Album Review: ZZ Top – A Tribute From Friends

I just got myself a copy of, yet another tribute album, this one for ZZ Top, done by a slew of artists from the day.

The first track I listened to was the first on the album by The M.O.B., a group consisting of Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler, Jonny Lang and Jon McVie. They cover the song Sharp Dressed Man and with a lineup like they have, I expected nothing but the best. What I got though, wasn’t what I expected. It was good, but it wasn’t anything special. It didn’t feel like those four stellar artists wrote it. It sounded more like “We Are The World”. It had so many great talents doing it, but it just wasn’t all that good. Personally I would have loved to have heard a song by Jonny Lang alone, he’s insane good.

The second track I listened to was Tush by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. It was an interesting take on the song and done the way I expected it to be, with the feel of the band performing it heavily influencing the sound. And it rocked.

The third was Legs by Nickelback. It was nice and heavy, and done pretty well, but nothing too special. I gave it a fair chance too, even though I’m not a big fan of theirs, but it wasn’t anything special, although I’d rather listen to it than the first track, if I had to choose.

The fourth was an 8 minute take on La Grange performed by Jamey Johnson. If I didn’t know it was a remake, I wouldn’t have thought it was any different when it started. Jamey sounds like Billy Gibbons in his vocals and the music is right on. As it continues, Jamey starts to sound more like himself and then rocks it out with a nice jam that sounds legit and like they were having a lot of fun. Worth the purchase price of the album.

To be honest, the next track I listened to kind of surprised me, because of all the bands I expected to cover Gimme All Your Lovin’, Filter wasn’t part of the list. After listening to it, I confirmed why that was. For what it was, and for Filter, it was unique enough for sure and well done, but it just didn’t do it for me. I don’t think this was really the right song for them to pull off.

After that was over, I listened to Mastodon’s cover of Just Got Paid. I have to be honest, I’ve never listened to Mastodon, or even heard of them for that matter. I don’t know who they are or what they’ve done musically, but they dominated this song, and they did what these types of albums are really supposed to do. Turn fans of one thing into fans of many others. Get some names out there. I’ll be checking out more stuff by Mastodon. Any suggestions?

And then BLAM! I listened to Cheap Sunglasses get completely dominated by Wolfmother. So far, the best track on the album, which is saying something after Grace and Company, Jamey Johnson and Mastodon. Then again, I am listening to this out of order, and on the album this track only follows, of those listed, Grace Potter. Naturally the album stays good throughout with just a couple of misses. Don’t pass Wolfmother up.

Duff McKagan of Guns n’ Roses fame is doing his own thing now with Duff McKagan’s Loaded where he basically joined with Velvet Revolver, and on this album they covered Got Me Under Pressure. When it started and actually through the first third of the song I wasn’t really interested in it, but after it was over I was happy I finished it. Not too bad of a tune and definitely not the worst song on the album.

The next track was Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers by Coheed & Cambria. I’ve never owned anything by them but I’ve always enjoyed listening to them whenever I could, which now really doesn’t make much sense to me why I never owned anything by them. Anyway, this cover rocks. It seems to be out of their style for the most part, and that kind of shines through a tad, but not much, because they are a solid band and that shows a whole hell of a lot more.

Next I got a dose of some Wyclef Jean, with his cover of Rough Boy. Wyclef is pretty awesome and his version of the song is kick ass, but it is NOT right for this album. Joke aside, this song is the black sheep of the album. Listen to it cause it’s great, but do it as a single.

Now let me tell you about the track that almost kept me from getting this CD. Daughtry covering Waitin’ For The Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago. To be honest, this track shocked the fucking shit out of me. Literally, turds were falling out of my butt while getting it on… holy fucking shit was this A LOT better than I thought it was going to be. And this, my friends, is the only time I’ll ever admit to liking him. Which I don’t, but this song is pretty damn good.

Overall, I’ll have to give the album 8/10. There were enough songs that weren’t so great that potentially could have brought the score down to a 6, but the songs that were great on this album were very great and for those tracks alone, the album is worth 8.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

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